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Switzerland

Continent:

Ideal Duration:

Best Time: Mid December - Mid October Read More

Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)

Budget: CHF 200 - CHF 300 per day

Switzerland Tourism

Switzerland is a land of stereotypes – expansive greenery, picturesque landscapes, chocolate, cheese, and watches. Switzerland’s lush green vistas are so perfect that they seem to be plucked out of a postcard. It truly is one of the most beautiful places on Earth – soaring Alpine mountains, medieval churches, a bucketful of fresh air, disarming landscapes, and green fields you would endlessly want to run through. It is one of those few places where everything runs on time, the chocolate is fantastic, the countryside is breath-taking and everything is as perfect as a dream!

Switzerland can be called as a stylish tourist destination. It offers countless cultural experiences and adventures. The awe-inspiring landscapes are a hot spot for skiing, hiking and mountain biking and call out to the adventurers. This is a country which provides endless opportunities for sightseeing, shopping, traditional folk entertainment, art, design and nightlife. Switzerland also holds the mysterious world of opera and world-class theatre and reigns supreme in contemporary art. This place has spruce towns and folklore like villages, dotted with green foothills, where the culture still survives and the cattle still loiters amid the pasture-rich fields. Being one of the most expensive European countries, Switzerland is often neglected by budget travellers. It is indeed one of the most expensive places, but that being said, it is also one of the astounding places in this world.

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Best time to visit Switzerland

Mid December - Mid October is the best time to visit Switzerland

Switzerland has 4 distinct seasons, each with its own set of activities and allure, making it a year-round destination. November and the beginning of December see heavy rainfall and mist, with a lot of major tourist operations especially in the skiing areas shut. You can figure out the best season for you depending on what you plan on doing during your visit.

Regions in Switzerland

Though Switzerland is politically divided into cantons, it is easier for the travellers to understand its different regions –

  • Lake Geneva: It falls on the northern shores of Lac Leman and stretches from the Jura to the Alps.
  • Bernese Lowlands: This is the core region of traditional Bernese influence.
  • Bernese Highlands: The Bernese Highlands mainly consists of the majestic Bernese Alps.
  • Central Switzerland: It is the birthplace of Swiss Confederation.
  • Zurich: It is the country’s largest city and a tourist region in its own right.
  • North-eastern Switzerland: This is the region between the Alps and Lake Constance and is home to numerous scenic dairy farms.
  • Valais: This is the region which houses Europe’s largest peaks and highest glaciers.

Photos of Switzerland

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Natural Beauty, Food

What's Not So Great?

Expensive

Read More on Switzerland

Currency of Switzerland

The currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc. It is symbolised internationally as CHF and divided into 100 centimes.

Currency Exchange in Switzerland

It is essential to have Swiss francs with you. Money can be easily exchanged at all the train stations and most banks throughout the country. Places such as supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and railway ticket machines accept the Euro and give you change in Swiss francs. A price label generally has prices both in francs and euro. It is not unusual to see bills being paid in cash in Switzerland. Many establishments don’t accept credit cards, so you need to keep some cash with you. ATMs are found all over the country and all ATMs accept foreign cards, so getting cash should not be a problem.

Languages of Switzerland

Switzerland has no particular Swiss language. Depending on the region you are in, the locals might speak Swiss-German, French, Italian or Romansh (the ancient Roman language). All these four languages are considered as the official language. German, English and French are the most widely spoken second languages. 40% of the population is German-speaking, mostly in the centre, north and east. French is spoken in the west while Italian is spoken in the south of the country. In the larger cities, you will have no trouble finding English-speaking people.

Food of Switzerland

Swiss cuisine is sumptuous, being influenced by different regions of its German, French and Italian neighbours. Swiss farmers mainly focus on dairy since wheat farming is less suited to higher altitudes. Potatoes are a Swiss staple, along with cured sausages and air-dried meat. Being at the forefront of chocolate manufacturing, it is heaven for dessert lovers. Eating out in Switzerland can be very expensive. The common street foods are burgers, pizza slices, kebabs and falafel. The national dish is the cheese fondue – a pot of white molten cheese with pieces of bread or potato to dip into. Another speciality of Switzerland is the raclette which is molten cheese spread over potatoes and pickles. The cafes and restaurants serve meals at designated times, thus you will find only snacks in between. Cafes are generally open from breakfast until midnight and serve alcohol. The bars and pubs open from late afternoon till late in the night. Beers are excellent in Switzerland and even the most remote places serve good wine.

Shopping in Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world to buy things in. The country is famous for a number of things – watches, chocolate, cheese and Swiss Army knives. Being the watch-making capital of the world, watches are the most exquisite items available here. The Swiss variety of chocolate is amazingly good with Teuscher and Sprungli being the best of the lot. Make sure to sample the wide variety of cheeses available in the market, along with the famous cheese fondue. The major tourist areas sell other items like cowbells, embroidered clothes and Heidi related stuff. Swiss people love cows, thus you can find cow-related items ranging from stuffed toy cows to fake cowhide jackets in almost every part of the country. Zurich’s famous Bahnhofstrasse is one of the most exclusive shopping streets in the world, however, visit it only if you have really deep pockets.

Health & Hygiene in Switzerland

Restaurants in Switzerland are controlled by strict rules, so generally there is no problem with food and water. Water is drinkable from literally every tap in the country including all the public fountains. No immunisations are required to enter Switzerland, however, it is advisable to have tetanus, diphtheria and polio vaccinations up to date before travelling. If any European visitor or their dependants fall ill or have an accident during a visit, free or reduced-cost treatment is available in Switzerland. Production of European Health Insurance Card would be required to avail the service. For all the other travellers, full travel insurance is recommended.

Tips for Visiting Switzerland

When invited for a meal to someone’s house, it is customary to give flowers to the hostess. However, do not give chrysanthemums or white asters as they are considered as funeral flowers in Switzerland. There are no rules regarding the dress code and you can simply wear the clothes of your choice. Informal wear is widely acceptable. However, first-class restaurants, hotel dining rooms and important social occasions may require you to wear jackets and ties. Switzerland is not one of the safest European countries, so keep an eye on your belongings, especially in the more crowded areas. The Swiss people tend to be very open with public displays of affection, sometimes too open, and women might find people getting a little extra friendly in bars and pubs. In such a case, just walking away is enough. Do not cross a red pedestrian light, as you will be fined on the spot for it. The public consumption of alcohol is legal in Switzerland, so don’t be surprised if you find a group of teenagers drinking on public property.

Stay options in Switzerland

Accommodation, though very expensive, is excellent in Switzerland. There are tourist offices spread across the country that book rooms for free. Some of them have display boards at the train stations or the streets giving details of the hotels. When you check-in, you can ask for a guest card, which entitles you to free local transport and other minor discounts. For the backpackers, hostels are the ultimate value for money. The high-quality hotels in Switzerland range from five-star to simpler ones. You can find extensive bed and breakfasts spread across the country which is a convenient staying option for the travellers. Apart from that, there are approximately 390 campsites in Switzerland. Camping outside these designated areas is against the law. Other special accommodations include mineral spas, golfing hotels, igloo villages, and farm accommodation. Information regarding these is available from local tourist offices and estate agents in Switzerland.

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